Here’s how it all began.
I spent Thanksgiving with family in Miami and took a Friday night Greyhound up to Orlando. I was to meet with my tour partners Noah and Amber Eagle the next day at Raphsodic, a cooperatively-run vegan bakery in the heart of the Little Vietnam district of Orlando. Coming from Cocoa Beach, they called me up in the late afternoon to inform me of their arrival so I walked the couple blocks to the venue, where our tour kickoff show would be hosted. We sat round a table, wrote up a short agenda, and got to discussing last-minute issues for the tour.
I first met Amber in Cocoa Beach, I had contacted her through CouchSurfing hoping to book a show on the Space Coast for the Vagrants & Vagabonds, Outlaws & Thieves Tour. She was still rather new to CS, but she had booked a number of house shows at her place in Cocoa and was more than happy to host a show for me there. Sure enough I played a show for her and many of her friends, sharing the stage with her brother Noah.
As I formulated touring plans for the months of November and/or December, it became clear that the most logical plan would be to book a DIY road tour in the southeast between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The biggest obstacle, of course, is that I no longer have a vehicle at my disposal. So I contacted as many Florida-based DIY musicians as I could think of, hoping to find someone(s) who could make the time commitment and had a vehicle to drive around the country. When I proposed the idea to Noah he was so excited that I knew right away there was no better prospect – except that he doesn’t drive a car either!
We asked Amber whether she would be willing and able to join us. She did have a car, but she also has a job; so we’d have to wait and hope that she’d be given the time off. Noah and I could hardly retain our excitement upon learning that she was indeed allowed to travel with us for the three-and-a-half-week period.
Now having a ride secured, we immediately launched a Kickstarter fundraising project, hoping to make enough to cover tour expenses so that we could shoot a documentary video about DIY music and couchsurfing. We had one month to raise the funds and it was an all-or-nothing deal. We promised our fans that we would ensure a successful tour in the mean time, booking as many as twenty FREE all-ages DIY shows in the southeast. With the financial and moral support of friends, family, and fans the three of us were able to raise more than enough to secure donations on Kickstarter – to the tune of nearly $1550 – and to book 24 shows in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia!
Already having a sense of camaraderie, team work, and extraordinary accomplishment, the three of us sat in Raphsodic ready to hit the road. But first we had a show to play!